Oct 162014

The winter transfer window inches closer, speculations, rumours and gossips concerning players’ transfers and clubs’ acquisitions are underway. A plethora of English Premier League clubs and scores of players would make moves in January when the window opens. Therefore, attention should be paid to news and reports about transfers from now as clubs would be making underground moves to strengthen their squads for the second half of the season. Now, news concerning Arsenal’s chase of Benfica midfield ace, Talisca and talks of Liverpool calling short the season-long loan deal for Divock Origi and other reports are all around the media. Here are a few reports involving Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Divock Origi: News filtering in says, Brendan Rogers may just call short the season long loan arrangement Liverpool had with Lille FC in France over Divock Origi. Origi was signed from Lille but was sent on a season-long loan back to the Ligue 1 club. Liverpool could just recall the player from his loan spell and draft him into his squad in January, to bolster and expand his attacking options, according to reports from Daily Star. Brendan Rogers recently spoke of the player and expressed the fact that Origi may not immediately fill the shoes left by Luis Suarez but has the potential of becoming a Liverpool top scorer in seasons to come as his qualities have made such speculations easy. Liverpool were very impressive last season almost clinching the English Premier League title coming second on the log behind Manchester City, the eventual Champions. A major factor responsible for the successful run last term is the Sturridge and Suarez (SAS) connection in their forward line but this season, the absence of Suarez through a departure to Barcelona and Daniel Sturridge through injury has had an effect on the potency of the Liverpool attack this summer. The signing of Mario Balotelli from AC Milan and Rickie Lambert from Southampton hasn’t really alleviated the goal scoring problem and now the manager, Brendan Rogers would look to bring in Divock Origi in January, by cutting short his loan spell with Lille and hopefully pair him up with Sturridge for a semblance of the Suarez era.

Talisca: According to Daily Star, Arsenal has stepped up their pursuit of Benfica midfielder, Talisca, a £17m rated star. Talisca is currently the Portuguese Primeira Liga’s top scorer with  6 goals, this season and he featured recently for the Brazilian U-21 team against Bolivia on Friday, where Arsenal scouts were seen present to watch the interesting player. Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho has also been said to be interested in the player but Arsenal seem to be the keener of the two London clubs for the player’s signature. However, the report says Arsene Wenger would aim to land the player only if Lukas Podolski, the 29-year-old Germany and Arsenal forward leaves the club in January. Podolski has been a subject of speculations of an Arsenal departure alongside Costa Rican, Joel Campbell. Other than the central defence and the defensive midfield positions where many fans believe Arsenal need reinforcements most, any signing of a forward or attacking midfield player is likely to come at the expense of the exit(s) of the Campbell and Podolski. Talisca, the 20-year-old midfielder would make a good signing for Arsenal especially considering him being a long term replacement of Podolski at the Emirates.

Varane: Raphael Varane, the Real Madrid and France defender has revealed that he turned down the chance to join Manchester United under Alex Ferguson in 2011 because of the Red Devil’s signing of English man Phil Jones. On the switch to United, Varane said: “Manchester United? They had just signed Phil Jones in my position.” Raphael Varane, 21, is a top class versatile defender for Real Madrid, who has played Right Back, Centre Back and even in the defensive midfield at one point or another in his career so far. He joined Real Madrid in 2011 under the guidance of Jose Mourinho and had since featured, though most times as an unused substitute, in a star-studded Madrid side. Varane was the preferred centre back defender alongside Mamadou Sakho for France in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil keeping top defenders like Laurent Koscielny and Eliaquim Mangala on the bench. His decision to choose Madrid over United has paid off now especially considering the fact that Manchester United highly underrated Gerrard Pique and Paul Pogba, two players, who had since gone on to become world class stars with Barcelona and Juventus, during their time at the Old Trafford.

’Tayo Amosu

Oct 012014

When David Moyes took control of what can be termed the biggest football team in England, who would have thought that Manchester United would go on to become the laughing stock of England and the whole of Europe? Ferguson in his more than two decades as manager had turned the club to a model club with a whole lot of trophies hanging in the museum. Then came the time for the Scot to retire and what happened? He brought in his fellow country man to continue where he had stopped.

Before then, David Moyes had been at Everton for more than a decade with no single silverware to his name or club he managed. That he enjoyed his team with blue half of Merseyside was an understatement. He was a demigod there. The fact that he was always able to put them some levels above midtable every season was an achievement for the Tofees.

Suddenly, Moyes found himself handling the the most famous club in England. The fact that he was single handedly chosen by SAF was in itself an achievement for him. The season started and things got really bad. Trust the Manchester United supporters, they tried rallying round their new manager but things didn’t just seem right and towards the tail end if the season, he was sacked.

Manchester United ended up finishing seventh on the league table, missing the opportunity of playing any European competition.

With another season beckoning, Manchester United laid their hands on a tested and trusted manager by the name Louis Van Gaal. With credentials that show he is right for the job, the Dutchman began a massive overhaul, displacing a number of players he deemed surplus to requirements while bringing in a number of stellar signings. Football analysts that were of the opinion that United would find it difficult to attract good players due to lack of European football were in for a shock. First came Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw.

This was followed by the arrival of Di Maria from Real Madrid. Then this was followed up with the purchase of Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon. And on transfer dealine day, the transfer coup that saw Radamel Falcao opt for Old Trafford took the whole footballing world by surprise. Another signing from Ajax was also completed that day in the name of Daley Blind and thus, Manchester United declared a statement of intent. Who says they wouldn’t attract good signings? From then until the just concluded weekend match, Manchester United have been showing signs of a re-emergence. That they will or will not make the top four this season is rather to early to judge. But there is definitely a new found hope within the Old Trafford hierarchy that things will definitely get better.

It would be worthy to note that United might not be so lucky in the transfer window if they fail to qualify for the Uefa Champions League next season. That they were able to pull it off this season is to be seen as a one-off and the possibility of it happening again will be low. Most good players in Europe wish to play in the Uefa Champions League and any team that doesn’t qualify fot the tournament always finds itself to blame. If in doubt, try asking Liverpool how they have fared in the past 5 seasons with regards to player transfers.

Although Manchester United is a big club and will continue to attract big names but missing out on champions league football again next season may mean the club will struggle to keep their current stars and even more difficult to attract big name players who will see missing out on champions league football for 2 consecutive seasons a bad sign.

Over to your Louis Van Gaal

Sep 022014

Manchester United fan and former striker, Danny Welbeck, has been pictured in an Arsenal shirt for the first time since his £16m move to North London.

Yesterday, Arsenal denied that Welbeck had been present for a medical. When this news was relayed to Arsenal supporters outside the Emirates on Sky Sports News, they cheered. After losing out on Radamel Falcao to Manchester United, they were clearly hoping for a stronger calibre of player.

However, the move was confirmed a few hours later.

Sep 012014

Radamel Falcao has been pictured at Carrington ahead of his shock loan move to Manchester United from Monaco.

Manchester City and Arsenal had been battling out to sign the striker, who has scored an incredible 155 goals in last 200 games, but United surprised everyone when they agreed terms with the player.

Whilst personal terms are yet to be finalised, it appears as though the signing is very close to being confirmed.

Sep 012014

Tottenham Hotspur had been favourites to sign Danny Welbeck last week although there were rumours that Arsenal and Everton were also keen on a loan move.

However, Arsenal were rivalling Manchester City to bring in Radamel Falcao as their priority signing. The striker has scored 155 goals in his last 200 games and was available on loan.

But Manchester United wrapped up a deal for the striker instead, meaning Arsenal were keen to bring Welbeck to the club. Reports suggested a loan move would cost £6m whilst a permanent deal would be worth £18m.

Sky Sports News reported that Welbeck was having a medical at Arsenal and the player’s agent went on talkSPORT confirming that offers had come in for the striker.

“There have been a few clubs in for Danny and they’re looking for loan deals with a view to buying, but Danny doesn’t want to go on loan,” he said. “He wants a straight transfer and he has every right to say that. In the last half an hour I have received some interest in a straight transfer which I’m going to speak to Manchester United about.”

However, Arsenal have released a statement to “categorically deny” the reports that Welbeck had underdone a medical with them and insist no deal is in place.

A few hours later, it was confirmed that Arsenal signed the Manchester United youth product for £18m.

Sep 012014

Ajax have this evening confirmed that the £13.8m deal for Daley Blind has gone through. Whilst the clubs reached an agreement last week, there were certain conditions that were fulfilled this evening.

Tonight, Blind is in Hilversum, Holland, to collect his award for being named the best player in Holland last season. The prize is known as the “Golden Boot” in Holland has previously been won by Luis Suarez, Edwin Van der Sar, Jaap Stam, Frank Rijkaard and Johan Cruyff.

Louis van Gaal is also present at the award ceremony this evening.

Sep 012014

Javier Hernandez has joined Real Madrid on a season long loan from Manchester United with the option of it being made permanent.

“It’s an honour and a dream to play in this team,” he said. “Of course, I have aims, dreams and I’m going to go out on the pitch determined to enjoy this experience. In my head and in my heart I am only grateful for being a part of this great team.”

Aug 312014

Earlier this week, Jose Mourinho claimed that Chelsea were finished in the transfer market and that he was “happy” with the squad he had.

Arsene Wenger was saying similar things about Arsenal and wasn’t going to be pressured in to bringing in a new striker, despite their first choice striker, Oliver Giroud, being ruled out with injury until 2015.

QPR’s Loic Remy had a release clause of £10.5m and reports suggested that Arsenal were keen to sign him, despite interest from Chelsea.

However, it was confirmed today that Chelsea have won the race to sign the striker.

“I feel very happy and very proud to have signed for Chelsea,” Remy said. “They are one of the best clubs in the world and I can’t wait to get started, training and playing with my new team-mates, when I get back from international duty with France.”

Following Arsenal’s draw with Leicester, Wenger claimed the issue wasn’t whether Arsenal needed a player or not, but whether they could find the right one. He claimed the club were “open” to signing a striker. When asked specifically about Remy, Wenger claimed that he “didn’t want to talk about individual cases” but insisted that Arsenal are “very active”.

It makes you wonder why Arsenal didn’t move for Remy until the last minute. This leaves Arsenal with Yaya Sanogo, Joel Campbell, Lukas Podolski and Alexis Sanchez as their options for up front as it stands.

Aug 312014

With just over 24 hours remaining until the transfer window closes, it looks as though Manchester United might be doing their rivals, Manchester City, in signing a fantastic striker. While United are behind City in the title odds with Betfair, one only has to look back at Arsenal’s sale of RvP to realise that strengthening your direct rivals is never a good idea.

It appeared as though Radamel Falcao was set to move to Real Madrid from Monaco, with him even tweeting about the move. He preferred a move to Spain over England, but that might not be a possibility now.

Rumours suggest that United have agreed a deal to loan Javier Hernandez to the Spanish giants, although an agreement on salary has yet to be finalised.

If this loan goes through, Falcao would no longer be required by Real Madrid, meaning City wouldn’t need to get themselves involved in a bidding war for the £55m striker.

After being fined £50m for breaching FFP, City are under pressure to generate more cash before they can buy. Álvaro Negredo, Micah Richards, Matija Nastasic and Scott Sinclair may all be on their way out of the club, after United have paved the way for Falcao to move to the other team in Manchester.

Jul 072014

The injury that sent shockwaves for all people watching this summer’s World Cup was the damage Neymar sustained to his back. However, the absence of Angel di Maria for the rest of the World Cup will certainly be headline news in Argentina.

The Real Madrid winger was subbed off in his country’s win over Belgium in the quarter-final after tearing muscles in his right thigh when having a shot on goal.

The manager of Argentina, Alejandro Sabella, initially thought that Di Maria would be available for the semi-final, but scan results have shown that he will likely be absent for the rest of the World Cup, even if his country do reach the final. Given Argentina’s strength in depth, you would fancy them as favourites to win it still, but the odds for each country still in the World Cup might have improved following Di Maria’s injury.

Argentina fans won’t be the only ones disappointed to hear of the injury though, as Manchester United had been strongly linked with a £40m move for the winger last week. Real Madrid have apparently already lined up his replacement, Monaco’s James Rodriguez, but if Di Maria isn’t fit to pass a medical, he won’t be going anywhere.

“For now, I’m just thinking the World Cup,” Di Maria said when asked about his future. “We’ll see what happens with Madrid and if they want to continue. Honestly, I know that there are offers and interested clubs.”

Apr 082014

Ahead of Manchester United’s quarter-final tie against Bayern Munich, reports have emerged that Toni Kroos is keen to switch life in Germany for England.

There are at least ten players at Bayern Munich who earn more money than Kroos with him currently earning £65k-a-week, which is some way short of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben’s £165k-a-week. United would be prepared to offer him £200k-a-week.

Felix Kroos, the player’s brother, revealed last month that United were the ‘team of his dreams’ and that he had spoken about the prospective deal with Toni.

“We have already talked about it,” he said. “Manchester has been the team of my dreams since I was a child. However, I don’t give him any advice. He will take a good decision for himself. There are worse situations than having to decide something like that.”

Jan 292014

Manchester United target Toni Kroos was angry to be subbed after in tonight’s game against Stuttgart. With an hour played and Bayern Munich a goal behind, Kroos was replaced by Claudio Piazarro.

Kroos went to the bench without shaking his team mates’ hands, before angrily throwing his gloves to the floor.

With his contract set to expire next summer and the player keen to improve his salary, Bayern Munich are reluctant to put him on the same level as the likes of Lahm and Ribery.

Kroos admitted this week that he was unsure about his future, whilst Pep Guardiola insisted he thought the player was important but didn’t know what was going to happen in the future.

David Moyes went to watch Kroos play last Friday with Steve Round and Phil Neville. With two days before the transfer window closes, can Manchester United take advantage of this temper tantrum?

Jan 242014

If I hear, see or read the question “Where will Juan Mata fit into the Manchester United side” one more time, I am going to give up on the human race.

According to worldwide reports, the two times Chelsea Player of the Year is set to sign for the Premier League champions for a club record fee of £37m in what will arguably be biggest transfer in the history of English football as it comes between the two most successful sides of the Premier League era.

It is no secret that David Moyes had a torrid time trying to do business in the summer transfer window, seemingly missing out on numerous targets, of which one report claimed Juan Mata was on his hit list along with fellow countrymen Cesc Fabregas and Ander Hererra – but he did land one man in former Evertonian Marouane Fellaini.

The tough tackling Belgian was brought to Old Trafford for £27m and despite the apparent national outcry for a ball winning midfielder to be added to the ranks – something that hasn’t been seen since the days of Roy Keane and Nicky Butt; yet this signing wasn’t enough to keep the United faithful happy, with most wanting a creative player to take over where Paul Scholes had left off.

Six months into the season and on the cusp of completing the deal which would bring the 25 year old to the club, there are still some Manchester United fans moaning. Lord give me strength.

We can all appreciate that so far this has been a disastrous campaign. Out of both domestic cups, a million points behind league leaders Arsenal and keeping one eye on the teams around us which includes Newcastle and Southampton – it hasn’t really gone according to plan so action within this transfer window is an absolute must.

Asking where Juan Mata would fit into the current Manchester United set up is like asking me where a £50 note would fit into my wallet full of fivers – the answer being as simple as anywhere it wants.

We all watched the Capital One cup semi-final against Sunderland didn’t we? No creativity, no fluency, no dynamism… everything was stale.

As obvious as it sounds, when Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie are both fully fit, they both start, with Rooney playing in the deeper role behind the Dutch striker.

Juan Mata excels in this deeper role, so does this mean there are too many cooks in the kitchen?
Definitely not.

Keeping every player within your squad fully fit for an entire campaign is impossible. Ask any manager from any division from any league across Europe.

I have no doubts that Juan Mata would play enough games in his desired position throughout a season to justify this purchase; if it needs any justification anyway?

I can already hear the murmurs of the cynical comparing this to the Shinji Kagawa conundrum. Unfortunately for Kagawa, this is a completely different animal. Popular as he may be, Kagawa has been given time on the pitch; whether it be from the left hand side or centrally, and he has failed to deliver time and time again.

The Japanese star was brought to the club from Germany possessing huge potential, which has never been fulfilled. In Mata there is far more than potential, there is a man who has performed at the highest level on a weekly basis, in this league. Ask any Chelsea fan if they can justify this sale; or justify why he is being left on the bench – and not one will be able to give you valid answer.

Apparently he lacks the ability to see out his defensive duties? Apparently it is a long term feud with blues boss Mourinho from years ago? Either way, if Mata does end up a Manchester United player, I can guarantee it will be a within weeks that he becomes as important to David Moyes side as he was for Chelsea over the past two seasons.

If this transfer goes through, David Moyes deserves an enormous amount of credit for landing a player of this stature.

Do you think this signing will be happen or is it more empty promises?


Jan 132014

So it has come to that point in the season again that every fan absolutely hates loves: the hallowed January transfer window. Not since the days of Chelsea’s fateful Fernando Torres signing has anything of note happened in January. Nevertheless, Sky Sport’s incessant ramping up of the final day has almost become a day of celebration in itself. Millions of people sitting in front of a rolling news station waiting for something that is likely to have broken on Twitter 45 minutes beforehand. The joy.

My contempt for the SkySportsification™ of the transfer window aside, January can often be a place to find crucial squad depth for the final push towards the Premier League title (or to avoid relegation). After two years of relative obscurity, from a Chelsea perspective, this finally feels like the club are back in the thick of things. With that being said there are certain holes that Chelsea could look to fill that would at the very least guarantee them a serious shot at landing the Premier League.

Chelsea’s current defensive situation is far from ideal, but definitely serviceable until the end of the season. While more quality in the full-back area and centre-back should be sought it can at least wait until the summer. I would be surprised to see any departures here and no club is likely to be able to afford the price Chelsea were reportedly quoting for David Luiz in the summer.

Into midfield is where things become interesting. The long-term injury to Marco van Ginkel is incredibly unfortunate given the potential playing time he would have had this season. Michael Essien may not be sold this January, but his days are sadly numbered at Chelsea. David Luiz can be used as an auxiliary midfielder, which bolsters numbers to five, but one serious injury could leave Chelsea with two recognised central players able to play twice a week comfortably.

The mooted options appear to be resigning Nemanja Matić or bidding for Fredy Guarín. Matić is an interesting case having already been at the club for some time but not quite getting the chance. For the reported fee Chelsea could be better served waiting until the summer, however, this transfer rumour does appear to be gathering pace with a formal bid submitted. Matić has fantastic ability and the only minor concern surrounding him will be how quickly he can adapt to the tempo of the Premier League. If he settles well then he slots in alongside Ramires or Mikel to provide a perfect foil and physical edge. A great distributor, powerful and an impressive ball winner he is the type of player Chelsea have missed since Michael Ballack’s departure.

VerdictIf this is the only money to be spent on a midfielder in the next year then I would wait until the summer and push for Vidal. However, this is a position of great need and it is not a stretch to say it could push Chelsea towards a serious title challenge. If Chelsea are going to further add to the central midfield area at the end of the season then Matić represents a great signing.

Guarín has absolutely no interest in joining the club and Chelsea appear poles apart with Inter in their valuation. This is certainly a blessing in disguise. Guarín has played more times as a striker this season than in holding midfield and despite having a fantastic engine offers little that Ramires cannot replicate. He is not the box-to-box destroyer that Chelsea so desperately seek, nor is he above a merely average-to-good midfielder.

Verdict – avoid the signing – signing another body just to have another body is a silly way to go about spending money.

Matić is the only player worth investing in, but even he is not the panacea to Chelsea’s midfield issues. If the £30m fee is to be believed (other sources say £21m) then are Chelsea better off waiting until the summer and targeting someone like Vidal, Pogba etc? The quandary remains that Chelsea are desperate for another person in midfield but with the January premium and other factors, i.e. are they cup tied, the right midfielder is scarce. A future midfield quartet of Matić, Mikel, Ramires and van Ginkel represents the type of power Mourinho likes, but there needs to be someone more technical in the box-to-box bracket for that to become a special group.

If Mourinho’s words are true, that Chelsea are targeting three significant signings this summer, then the need to find elite quality perhaps diminishes somewhat. My preferred option is to look closer at home and use someone like Nathaniel Chalobah as a rotation option. After an excellent campaign at Watford he has stagnated at Nottingham Forest under 3rd person referring Billy Davies. Chalobah is comfortable in midfield and will likely raise his game with the quality of players around him. This, however, is highly unlikely and some newspapers are suggesting that Guarin will also be signed in addition to Matić.

The other obvious area of improvement can be seen in Chelsea’s centre forward options. It is a miracle and testament to Mourinho that Chelsea are so well positioned with such a mediocre set of strikers. People can bleat on about Romelu Lukaku’s absence for as long as they like but the reality is that while the Belgian is certainly a better option than current incumbents he has a plethora of things to work on to make him suited to Mourinho’s team. He should improve his link-up play and ability to play with this back to goal. Working within tight spaces and developing his footwork to deal with intricate build up is another must. All, hopefully, are improving under Roberto Martínez’s exceptional coaching.

All signs point to Demba Ba leaving the club in January after an underwhelming stint. Ba certainly works hard but lacks the consistent quality to assert himself as a first choice striker. With Ba’s departure Chelsea have Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o to rely upon for the foreseeable future. Given the age of the latter and the erratic play of the former Chelsea must surely be looking to reinforce this area in January. While André Schürrle can play as a makeshift centre forward, a club competing on three fronts over the coming months cannot solely rely upon two players to remain in form and healthy.

The rumours surrounding a bid for Wayne Rooney persist, but given Manchester United’s form of late is losing their talisman something they are going to entertain? Rooney is certainly from a stylistic standpoint the profile of striker Chelsea should be looking to buy. He has the ability to link play, works incredibly hard and would fit seamlessly into a side that would allow him to play to his strengths.

It could very well be that Rooney is desperate for a change of scenery and that playing under Mourinho could completely reinvigorate his career. That is not to say that he has not been a fantastic performer this season, but Mourinho would take Rooney to a level that Moyes could never envisage. There is always a fear factor in signing high profile strikers at Chelsea. The money tied up in signing Rooney, now in his late 20s, would be astronomical – potentially the highest paid player in a squad full of high paid players and a transfer fee approaching £40m. If Rooney were in his mid-20s this would be an easy decision, but more thought needs to go into this.

My outside the box suggestion would be to make a loan move for Radamel Falcao. Chelsea, unquestionably, missed a trick in the summer by not signing Falcao or Edison Cavani. Yes, elite strikers cost a lot of money, but the effect they have on a team cannot be ignored. Van Persie essentially papered over much of this season’s United form and delivered a league title (I am being somewhat facetious here). The damage that Falcao or Cavani would have causes spearheading the Chelsea frontline this season is catastrophic.

There are more than one account of Falcao’s unhappiness to be read on the internet concerning his time in Monaco. A move purely for money has seemingly backfired as he has taken such a backwards step in his career. He would certainly jump at the opportunity to play in the Premier League, Champions League and under Mourinho. A loan fee and paying a sizeable portion of his wages would surely be enough to capture the Colombian for the remainder of the season. Nevertheless, a long term solution must be sought in the summer. Diego Costa appears a fine player with many Mourinho-esque characteristics and someone I would like to see the club move for. Nevertheless, Atletico are in the hunt for the title for the first time in a while and I would find it strange if they considered bids or he wanted to move in January with a World Cup approaching.

Prediction* – Demba Ba (50/50), Michael Essien (if not now, then the summer) and Kevin De Bruyne depart (£25-£30m). Chelsea sign Guarín or Matić. Chelsea do not sign a striker – they will not think of a loan move for Falcao, Rooney will prove too costly and Manchester United will definitely not want to sell him and Diego Costa is unlikely to move in this window. Juan Mata does not leave the club.

HopesChelsea agree a fee in January to sign Luke Shaw and Kurt Zouma in the summer. Both players return to their clubs on loan for the remainder of the season.

* I am hopeless at predictions.

Jan 122014

Reports from Spain have suggested that could be some truth to the rumours that Manchester United are ready to sign Fabio Coentrao from Real Madrid.

The English champions agreed a deal to bring Coentrao on loan last summer, with the view to making it a permanent transfer, and completed all the paperwork on their end. However, Real Madrid failed to bring in a replacement at the last minute so didn’t submit their paperwork and pulled a plug on the deal.

Earlier this week, David Moyes was asked whether it was true United were close to agreeing a move for the January transfer window. “No, that’s not true,” he insisted.

However, following the catastrophic transfer window in the summer, it is understandable that the club would be keen to play down any transfer rumours, so that any business they do can be seen as a positive. A few months ago, Ed Woodward promised the fans that money was available for them to buy any world class talent they wanted, but in the end the only player United signed was Marouane Fellaini.

Coentrao has struggled with injuries since the summer and Carlo Ancelotti has preferred Marcelo to him at left back, meaning the 25-year-old is keen to leave the club, to ensure he is in the best possible form ahead of the World Cup this summer. His agent, Jorge Mendes, was in Manchester this week, although it is likely he was also working a deal to take Anderson away from the club, with Fiorentina confirming their interest today.

Oct 152013

Robert Lewandowski was supposedly a done deal for Bayern Munich but his most recent comments suggest there is the possibility he will be moving to the Premier League this summer.

The player claims he has never revealed he would be signing for Bayern Munich.

What has he actually said?

April 21st 2013: Sir Alex Ferguson on signing Lewandowski – “Yeah, but Bayern Munich are strong with that too. We just have to wait and see where we are in terms of if we win the league. Then it may be different.”

May 27th 2013: His agent, Cezary Kucharski – “Yes. Robert will join Bayern this summer. There is no point in pretending that he will not move to Bayern. Robert wants to leave and that is what will happen. It is a matter of time. It could be a done deal within a week or within two to three weeks. We are waiting for a signal from the club. We are working on this deal.”

June 5th 2013: “I expect everything to be cleared up now so that I will be allowed to move to my dream club this summer. That would be the best for everybody involved. Dortmund are a fantastic club whom I will always admire. It’s just now I want a new challenge for my future.”

June 11th 2013: “I do not think that this is the final decision of the board of directors and I expect the situation to change shortly. I am enjoying my holiday for now, but I hope things move forward pretty soon and the situation changes. I do not get upset about anything.”

July 31st 2013: “If someone says something, he should keep his word. I’m not saying it’s only about the transfer, but other things we have discussed with management and that has not materialised. It turns out that words spoken straight into my eyes were untrue. No matter how hard I will train and what I will do, the feeling that I’ve been cheated will still be there. Maybe that word is too much, so for now I will say I’m disappointed.”

August 24th 2013: “Yes, there was a situation like this with Jose Mourinho but I wouldn’t like to talk about it much. It was a private conversation so I don’t want to make big things out of it. I can confirm I spoke to him. We spoke a few times before. I have his number in my phone. It is a huge compliment for me that a manager with such a big name is texting me this way. It is always nice to talk to him but it is not the first time I had such a situation. One year earlier I also spoke to Sir Alex Ferguson and that was definitely a great feeling. The retirement of Sir Alex didn’t affect my decision not to come to England. He spoke to me one year ago. It was not at a good time. I knew I still had something big to achieve in Dortmund before I joined a bigger club.”

Septermber 25th 2013: When asked if he would confirm a move to Bayern in January, Lewandowski told Sport 1: “Yes, because I can officially sign the new contract in January. Right now, I can’t say anything. Normally, I can only reveal it officially in January. At this moment, it is still too early and we’ll have to wait a bit. But I think, I can leave in January.”

October 14th 2013: “I will be able to sign a contract in January, but I have never said that I will sign a contract with Bayern. It was a misunderstanding. It is true I had the opportunity to speak with Sir Alex Ferguson (last year), but we didn’t mention the transfer. One day I would like to play in the Premier League. It would be a great experience.”